Phantom Limb Pain Treatment – Spinal Cord Stimulation

Understanding Phantom Limb Pain

Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a condition that often manifests after an amputation or the loss of a limb. This condition is incredibly complex and can be difficult to understand due to its strong connection to the nervous system. Despite the absence of a physical limb, many patients report experiencing feelings of tingling, numbness, and radiating pain. It is assumed that this is due to the complex workings of the nervous system. The brain is unable to comprehend the absence of a limb, so it sends conflicting signals from the disrupted nerve pathways. 

Phantom limb pain is common in patients who have recently undergone amputation or lost a limb due to an injury. This condition can be incredibly frustrating for patients and is difficult to treat due to its close link to the nervous system. If you have been diagnosed with phantom limb pain, continue reading to learn more about your treatment options. 

Managing Phantom Limb Pain

If you have recently undergone an amputation or lost a limb, there is a chance you have experienced a suspicious pain that manifests in the region of the lost limb. You may be thinking, is there a treatment to eliminate phantom limb pain? 

Patients should consult their doctor as soon as they begin to experience a concerning pain in the region of their lost limb. Most of the time, this specialty is offered by designated pain management specialists. The doctor will review the patient’s symptoms and perform diagnostic imaging and physical examinations. The goal is to help the doctor understand the patient’s pain so they can determine the best treatment approach. 

Oftentimes, treatment for phantom limb pain will begin with pain medications and topical medications to help manage discomfort. However, if patients continue to experience debilitating symptoms, the doctor will likely consider alternatives. Physical therapy, mirror therapy, and acupuncture are a couple of the most common therapies recommended to patients with phantom limb pain. If these next steps do not provide relief, patients may consider more surgical options like spinal cord stimulation.

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Alleviates Phantom Limb Pain

Spinal cord stimulation is a common therapy recommended for amputees with phantom limb pain. The spinal cord stimulation process involves sending low-voltage electrical currents through the spinal cord, stimulating nerve fibers that can block or alter the perception of pain. 

8 out of 10 lower-limb amputees experience chronic pain to an extent. These patients report the sensation as the discomfort feels as though it is coming from the missing limb. Spinal cord stimulation can effectively mask the pain signals and help patients live a more comfortable life. 

Treatment with BEST Health System

BEST Health System is a modern healthcare brand offering advanced care to patients suffering from chronic pain. We hear you, and we understand that quality chronic pain care is difficult to find. Therefore, we are proud to increase accessibility for patients across North America. 

Contact us today to learn more about our spinal cord stimulator program.